Monday Mornings with Madison

Monthly Archives:
September 2013

Dressing for Success

While it’s been said many times that one shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, marketers know that people do just that. That’s why product packaging plays such a pivotal role in product sales. Product packaging designers know that looks matter, and without a properly designed package a product is hard to sell regardless of how good its other attributes might be. Indeed, packaging design represents what the brand stands for as much as other elements of the brand visual identity do, and in certain cases the packaging is almost as important as the product itself.

This applies not only to the sale of products. It also applies to the most valuable resource any business has… its employees. Career coaches and HR experts agree that applicants should dress for the job they want, not the job they currently have or last had. Applicants are evaluated first by their appearance, which is a key part of body language. Employers want to hire someone who ‘looks the part.’ But ‘dressing the part’ applies not only to those seeking employment. Dressing for success is a personal philosophy that everyone in the workplace should adopt. While office attire has certainly changed over the years, giving rise to ‘business casual’ and ‘casual Fridays’, how employees dress for work still matters. Here’s why. Continue reading

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Untying the K”nots”

What is standing between you and success? Is it a person, place or thing? For many, a person is the biggest obstacle to achieving their greatest dream. It might be an enemy or nemesis. Or perhaps it is a competitor. Or it could be a coworker. It might even be someone much closer, such as a friend or family member. But for some, it is someone even closer than that. For some, the most daunting impediment to achieving their goals is their own face in the mirror. That’s right. For some, the biggest barrier to achieving their dreams is themselves and the negative self-talk inside.

For some, the knots binding them from achieving their wishes and dreams are in their mind and heart. They are bound by the have nots, can nots and do nots in their own minds. They are anchored by the will nots, may nots, and might nots that have affixed themselves to their hearts. They are tethered by the could nots of the past, the should nots of the present and the anticipated would nots of the future. The “nots” in their thinking become the actual knots that bind and obstruct their path to happiness and success. Most importantly, the am nots, especially thoughts such as “I am not good enough” hold people down. And if you think that positive thinking and positive self talk is just a bunch of nonsense, think again. There is scientific proof that positive thinking has a powerful positive effect and negative thinking has a powerful negative effect. Continue reading

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The Scoop on LinkedIn’s Skill Endorsements Feature

About a year ago, LinkedIn — the preferred social media site for professionals (especially in the U.S. and U.K) — rolled out a new feature called ‘Skill Endorsements’. According to LinkedIn, skill endorsements were meant to be “a great way to recognize your 1st-degree connections’ skills and expertise with one click.” They were also supposed to “let your connections validate the strengths found on your own profile.” In short, Skill Endorsements were meant to be a simple and effective way of simultaneously building your professional brand and engaging your network. Fast forward one year. LinkedIn has recorded over 1 Billion Skill Endorsements to date. Yet, it also appears that the Skill Endorsements feature typically either baffles or bothers users most.

Questions about it abound. Beginners want to know how to give or receive Skill Endorsements? Others wonder whether they should endorse former employees or colleagues. Some want to know why LinkedIn implemented this feature at all. What is the point of Skill Endorsements? Still others want to know why LinkedIn’s Skill Endorsements feature functions as it does and, more importantly, is there a way to make it stop? These are all good questions. Let’s consider the methods, motives and madness of LinkedIn’s Skill Endorsements. Continue reading

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Warning: Selfishness Is Bad For Your Health

In a dog-eat-dog, competitive marketplace, many people develop a ‘me first’ mentality. Those adopting this mentality choose to do what is best for himself or herself first and foremost and then — if time, energy and resources allow — might deign to help others. And, it seems that this ‘looking out for number one’ attitude is becoming increasingly pervasive in today’s modern society. To many, this egotistical approach to life is justified as the best way to ‘get ahead.’ The question is: does selfishness pay?

Religious and spiritual leaders have forever warned about the perils of selfishness and touted the virtues of altruism. But now there is mounting scientific evidence that selfishness is actually bad for your health. Instead of a ‘me first’ approach to life being beneficial, scientists are finding that selfishness is actually harmful not only to society as a whole, but also to the individual being selfish. Inversely, doing nice things for others and putting others’ needs first actually is not only good for society but also for the do-gooder. Continue reading

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